November 16, 2003
This Friday at the Eyebeam gallery in Chelsea, NYC, is the opening of Beta Launch: Artists in Residence Part2, which includes Shadow, “an interactive installation that projects a disembodied, autonomous, human shadow on the ground. This apparently living, intelligent shadow attempts to merge itself with the viewer’s real shadow. When this occurs, the invisible figure, implied by the virtual shadow, inhabits the viewer’s own personal space.”
This is the kind of interactive art I really like, and wish there were more of. I strongly believe that there are so many interesting art pieces one can do with realtime autonomous characters in a gallery space — this is a frontier just waiting to be pioneered. For example, Simon Penny’s Petit Mal (1995), and Mark Bohlen and Michael Mateas’ Office Plant #1 (1998). Works likes these are both compelling conceptually and entertaining to experience.
The artists behind Shadow are Adam Frank and Zack Simpson. Adam and I worked together at PFMagic for several years on the Virtual Petz and Babyz projects, and I’ve been much looking forward to seeing his interactive art installation ideas get realized. Check out some of Adam’s now older but still fun online artwork. Adam will be speaking at Eyebeam on November 25 about Shadow on a panel called “Tracking Behaviors”.
Zack’s one of the people behind Shadow Garden, both a series of interactive artworks and an innovative full-body user interface. Shadow Garden was used as the platform for last year’s Indie Game Jam, part of the Experimental Gameplay Workshop (which now has a new call for proposals for 2004’s event, by the way). Zack’s page also lists lots of interesting game programming papers and source code.
Congrats Adam and Zack! I’ll try my best to make the trek from Boston.